The search for love is unending. Yet few can follow its path, for the path of true Love is as difficult as it is rewarding, and most of us fall along the wayside somewhere. Even at the beginning of a relationship, when we experience the nirvana of discovery, we simultaneously feel the pang of losing it. This duality feeds fear and blocks the way of true Love. Yet, we cannot deny the duality, or we will not love with all our hearts.
To truly experience Love, we must first be willing to look fearlessly into our own hearts and minds. For Love will open us up as nothing else in life can do, and any part of ourselves that we have been hiding will suddenly come skidding into the open to taunt and intimidate us. The moment Love walks in, the shadow part of our self begins to grow. That is because the most exquisite purpose of Love is to force and nurture the growth we have been avoiding. Love pulls out all the stops and slams us into the reality of ourselves.
This is all a part of divine purpose. God intends us to become a part of one heart, a part of the whole. Yet God also intends us to remain totally true to ourselves and to the integrity of our own individuality. It is another one of the dualities that throws many of us off of Love’s path. If we would love, we must be willing to be true to ourselves while being a part of the whole. Love, then, is a microcosm of Life.
In my search for love, I have discovered many things that Love is NOT. Usually, it was a painful process, but as I have grown, it has become a more joyous course. Life is all about learning, and when you learn to love the learning, all of Life becomes joyous. By arduously weeding out the NOT-love, I have come to know much more about what true Love IS. Of course, I am still learning, but here is some of what I’ve discovered.
1. Love is NOT a promise of peace and pleasure everlasting. We do NOT find our soul mates and live happily ever after. That is the biggest fairy tale of all. If we enter into love expecting to find nothing but happiness and peace for the rest of our lives, we are actually entering into a devious place… a place where the beloved exists only to reinforce our present best image of ourselves. The true beloved will do that but will also gently help us to pry free from images that no longer have a relevant purpose in our lives.
2. Love is NOT sexual lust and passion. Sexual lust and passion are a part of love, but they can also be experienced apart from Love. And Love can be experienced in its deepest forms without sexual lust and passion. Sexual lust and passion exist to open us up to the true lust and passion of LIVING. Sexuality and lust and passion activate our vulnerability, and vulnerability is a precursor to growth. If we are to grow, we must be vulnerable.
3. Love is NOT static. Love has seasons and moods and changes. It is the never-ending catalyst to growth. It catapults us into a lifelong series of chrysalis and butterfly. Love is constant rebirth. The only thing we can depend upon in this life is change.
4. Love is NOT possession. We draw close, then apart, then close again, then apart. We exult in one another, then withdraw into our caves. We glory in our togetherness, then go our separate ways. Ceaseless change brings new perspective, new birth, and a constant renewal of ourselves. And sometimes it leaves us alone on our path, grieving and full of self absorption, because the beloved one chooses to move onto a path without us. Deep Love allows the separation of individual purpose and goals.
5. Love is NOT a right. It is a responsibility. We are not born with the innate right to be loved by others. Love is something we earn. It is always here for us to experience, but it will not force itself upon us. We must be willing to walk to the door and open it. Then we must be willing to invite Love in and encourage it to stay.
6. Love is NOT dependent upon one particular person. There is no one soul mate, though we may know only one of them in a particular lifetime. If one soul mate leaves, another will come, when the heart is open and ready to grow again. Being “abandoned” by a lover means only that we are ready for a new experience of Love. We do NOT die of a broken heart. If a loved one departs, and we feel like dying, we are dying of a CLOSED heart. The heart and mind may stubbornly refusing to open to Life’s new possibilities, thus we close off all nurture, and that is a choice to begin to die. It is pure stubbornness, pride, and fear that makes us feel like dying. Why would Life, in all its glory, suddenly abandon us? Love and life do not leave us. People do. That is the nature of this mortal life.
7. Love is NOT desire. Love is sufficient unto itself. It simply IS. It is what it is. If we want to experience true Love, we must let our desire be to flow like a river, to feel the pain of understanding, and to allow the course to take us where it must. We must bless God for each moment of loving and recognize that when we love, we are in the heart of God, and that is a place our minds are too finite to comprehend.
8. Love is NOT a goal. It is a process. It is a part of living, but it is NOT the goal of living. Living is the goal of living. Life is what matters. If we would love, we must first know how to live. For living each moment to its fullest potential IS Love, and that is the goal of Life. As Love is sufficient unto Love, so is Life sufficient unto Life.
9. Love is NOT destructive. Though Love reveals our hidden shadow selves, it does so to illuminate them. Shadows can dance and play with our enlightenment, giving depth and true character to the inner and outer spirit. If the shadows appear to overtake and bury us, then we are no longer experiencing Love. We are experiencing obsession.
10. Love is NOT obsession. When we love with our deepest selves, we never lose our own way. If the beloved’s path and goals become more important than our own, that is not the intention of Love. That is obsession. True love asks only that we ALLOW the beloved to be loved (beloved). When we obsess, we actually shut the process of loving down.
11. Love is NOT completion. We are not here to complete the work. We are here to continue it. The same is true of Love. It does not complete our lives. It continues our lives. Love, as Life, is constantly growing and changing. It is an entity unto itself, and each time we Love, we perpetuate its vision for the Love of God.
12. Love is NOT found outside of ourselves. It comes from within. When we open our deepest self, Love pours out and floods the world around us. Then that very Love we “give away” becomes the seed that blossoms into the Love we “receive”. Love only APPEARS to be coming from outside sources. In actuality, it comes from our own spirit. What we feel is our own Love expressing itself. All of Life is but a perception of who we are.
13. Love is NOT just for lovers. Love is sharing, learning, growing. It is the ultimate Leap of Faith, the willingness to hold a vision for compassion and solicitude for ourselves and our lives, even when all the rest of the outside world would seem to deny it. When we can Love each aspect of ourselves and our lives with the peace that comes from supreme inner knowing, then Love enjoys its finest hour. The lover appears only to share and broaden this hour. Ultimately, it is the Love we feel for ourselves and our own lives that is the truest expression of God’s plan.
14. Love is NOT finite or mortal. It is infinite, immortal, and undying. Love that dies was never Love at all. When we feel true Love, we know that it is never-ending and always available. Anything that is called Love that dies or goes away, is not Love. It is emotion.
15. Love is NOT emotion. Emotions come and emotions go. Emotions are but the ripples upon the surface of our lives. They appear and disappear without touching the depth of our real selves. Love is locked into the essence of ourselves. It is integrity of spirit and purity of intent. It is the truest expression of our God selves, and it is everlasting. If you would experience Love, allow it to flow from the depths of your soul and feel its presence all around you. Lovers leave, but Love does not. Feelings change, but Love remains.
16. Love is NOT controlling. Love is experiential in nature, and control seeks to define and structure experience. Yet Love will not be controlled, nor will it seek to control. The nature of Love is to embrace and allow. It cannot be guided, nor will it be defined. For each of us is an individual expression of God’s infinite wisdom and variety, and each of us experiences Love alone and in our own way. Love is ours to give, but we cannot control its path.
17. Love is NOT something we can share. The final irony of Love’s great gift is that it is experienced ALONE. Sharing Love is an illusion. Love flows, and the instant it moves, it changes. Each thing it touches changes its nature. Each receptor continues its path in a very unique way. Since we can only experience that which we know, we cannot share our love. We can only allow it to flow. When we speak of sharing Love, we are speaking of sharing this unique perception of Love’s flow. Love is an expression, an outpouring of the essence of our God selves, and it is beyond sharing. It is what it is.
Lovers of Life, seek love within. Then open your spirits with no regrets, and allow your Love to pour forth in abundance upon all it may touch. Seek not to direct its path nor follow its course. Seek only to continue its possibilities.
May Buddha bless all.
I love you Mekh ..